Former LSU Tigers women’s basketball player Seimone Augustus was honored with a statue that was unveiled outside the program’s arena, the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, Sunday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Augustus went to the Women’s Final Four three times with the Tigers. She was then the first pick in the 2006 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx, with whom she played 14 years and won four league championships. Augustus ended his WNBA career in 2020 with the Los Angeles Sparks. She also won three Olympic gold medals with the United States women’s team.
Augustus, 38, is the first female athlete at LSU to have a statue on campus. LSU coach Kim Mulkey said honoring Augustus and other program legends was one of her top priorities when she arrived at the school in 2021.
“So many people have been involved in this journey,” Augustus said. “I’m just grateful that this is happening. Coach Mulkey has done an incredible job of making it happen. It’s great to just think about what this moment means.
“I didn’t do this alone. Many of the female athletes here in my time have been an inspiration. We were all on our own run, our own journey, and I stand here proudly as a representation of all these women. So many great female athletes have come through LSU who have made statements in their respective sports. I won’t be the last to be recognized.”
Augustus hails from Baton Rouge and was heavily recruited as a prep player, including by Mulkey when she was an assistant for the Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters. Then Mulkey took over as head coach of the Baylor Bears in 2000. Mulkey said she thought Augustus’ ties to her hometown were too strong for her to go elsewhere for college. .
“Honestly, I never thought we were in it,” Mulkey said of signing Augustus. “In my heart, I just couldn’t see her ever playing for LSU.”
As a sophomore in 2004, Augustus led the program to its first of five consecutive women’s Final Four appearances. The Tigers never reached the NCAA Finals, however, losing in the National Semifinals each of those years. In 2005, they lost in the semi-finals to Mulkey’s Baylor team, who won the national championship.
Augustus, the 2005 and 2006 consensus national player of the year in women’s basketball, finished her career at LSU averaging 19.3 points and 5.2 rebounds. In her 15 WNBA seasons, she averaged 15.4 points and 3.1 rebounds, and was an eight-time All-Star. She was also 2006 WNBA Rookie of the Year and 2011 WNBA Finals MVP.
Her No. 33 jersey was retired by LSU in 2010 and by the Lynx in 2022. Augustus said among other athletes she hopes will also be honored by LSU is her former Tigers and Lynx teammate Sylvia Fowles , who retired after the 2022 WNBA season.
Current LSU star Angel Reese recently posted a photo on social media of herself posing with Augustus after a 2011 WNBA game in Washington, D.C. Reese was 9 at the time and growing up in the suburb of Baltimore, often attended Washington Mystics games to watch the players. of the whole league. Augustus was one of his favourites.
“And now I’m at LSU, following in his footsteps,” said Reese, who transferred to LSU from Maryland. “I’ve always looked up to Seimone and Maya Moore, those kind of players. Being able to go to their games at such a young age and talk to the players, that was important to me. My mum always said it could be me one day .”
Augustus said she is proud of Reese and the Tigers who are currently one of three remaining undefeated teams in Division I women’s basketball. Augustus said she hopes things like her statue continue to inspire people. future generations.
“It’s like coaches always say, you never know who’s watching,” Augustus said. “This picture symbolized that. I always wanted to make sure I gave autographs and pictures to the youngsters. I didn’t know this day would come, but luckily it did, because Miss Reese is now a Tiger.”